Oh my GOSH!! I loved/love your other stories and I'm just fascinated in the extreme with this one!!! Your style of writing is just incomparable in how you bring life to all these characters! You leave no stone unturned and just WOW!!!!!!!!!
Author's Response: Thanks from the bottom of my heart! I'm having great fun and I'm glad to know it's contagious. Hope you enjoy this next chapter which will be posting soon; it's my favorite so far.
I just started reading this story, and it's one of the best I've read. These in-between stories and scenes that you don't actually see are my favorites to read and to write about - there's so much you can do with them while remaining true to the author's works. I think you've done a fantastic job with these.
I also love the way that you write. All the characters are beautifully done, and fit in with what Rowling's shown us, though some (like Dawlish) are very different in a believable kind of way.
I'm looking forward to reading more of this story, and plan on reading the all of your others.
Author's Response: I'm thrilled that you like this story so much. It really did grow out of the cracks that JKR left behind as the summary shows. Glad you found that the characters stayed true enough to canon, even though I can't help but elaborate when things are vague. Dawlish struck me as such a perfectly empty slate in so many ways. I imagined a sort of by-the-book sort of guy, set in his ways in a manner that Tonks would instantly label as chauvinistic; then the Death Eaters take over and he finds depths of rebellion that he never knew he had.
Hope you enjoy the other stories as much as this one. The tone of each one is a bit different and the AU warning indicates when I've taken my own tangent based on earlier books. Don't be a stranger!
The "story within a story" is a rather amusing touch -- and the precedent is certainly there (e.g., "Hamlet").
Harry certainly does seem to be holding his own with the quips nowadays. That would seem to be an indication of a certain amount of healing, at least in some respects.
Author's Response: I found a lot of instances of Harry's “cheek” in canon so it's nice to give him an opportunity to indulge without the threat of a detention hanging over his head. There are many who will say that when tragedy turns to farce, or at least we're able to joke about it, then we have truly healed. It's a path I see both Harry and George following.
I worried that the story within the story was a bit trite, so I'm glad you liked it. It's part of the serpentine inspiration for this story so I wanted to include it.
Over the past few weeks, I've read all your stories from the beginning. I'm now starting on Chocolate Frog and felt I had to join Mugglenet just to thank you. These have been a stressful few weeks and knowing I had a world to escape to made a very big difference.
You're a really good writer and I hope you continue making Potter fans happy and exercising your talents!
Author's Response: I'm so happy you followed my convoluted path of stories. I find writing them can be a great stress reliever as well since you have to totally experience that world (see, touch, smell, etc.) in order to make it believable in words. The characters that JKR created are so unbelievably rich that they give rise to all sorts of possibilities whether a writer stays within the constraints of established canon or takes them on a stroll through an Alternate Universe story.
Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know you liked what you read. It really made my day! Hell, it made my whole ruddy week!
I apologize for failing to review the last several chapters; this chapter was so ... excellent .. that I was jarred out of my complacency enough to respond a bit.
I think you portrayed Dawlish exceptionally well -- and with a great deal of sympathy, at that. Wouldn't John be surprised about Mad-Eye were he to learn of the latter's true fate? :-)
For that matter, Molly & Andromeda were each well-portrayed, as well -- certainly believably, to me.
Well done: thank you!
Author's Response: I’m so happy that you liked Dawlish. I so wanted to portray how an ordinary person (not one associated with the Order of the Phoenix) would deal with the Death Eater crisis. Dawlish always struck me as a strictly-by-the-book sort of fellow; so taking a page from JKR, situations/characters don’t always follow assumptions when only limited information is given. He’d likely think that it was supremely fitting that it was Moody who managed to fool everybody. As for Andromeda, she still has some of the more aristocratic (stuffy) mannerisms instilled in her by the Black family. Thankd for taking the time to review!
I love your story! I agree with you that Ginny is sadly underused in the movies. But that leaves more room for good fanfic! ;) As a mom, and no stranger to grief, I also applaud your Tea & Sympathy chapter. It warms my heart to think of Tonks' mom having Molly to turn to. One dynamic you might want to address between them, tho, is Bellatrix's death. Hm. Now I think someone needs to take on Andromeda's story! Maybe that could be your next flight of fancy. :)
Author's Response: So pleased you liked the two mothers commiserating. Their friendship seemed such a natural combination.
A very interesting point about mourning Bellatrix, as it presents a double-edged sword: Andromeda's daughter falling at the hand of her own aunt. Am not certain that fact would have yet come to light, though. In DH we only learn that Bella has been assigned the task of trimming her family tree (although only Death Eaters and Snape are present) nor do I envision there being any witnesses to recount Tonks' last moments. In a tribute to the senselessness of war, Harry is just presented with the dead bodies of Tonks and Remus. Consequently, it's going to take a fair amount of investigation before the full facts come to light in the canon universe. There is also a major gap that must first be addressed: where did Bellatrix get a wand when hers was captured by the trio and Ollivander is no longer on hand to make her a new one? Look for it in upcoming chapters as it requires a fair amount of groundwork – not to mention a twist or two, if I can work them in.
Thanks again for the inspiring words.
P.S. Coincidentally, mourning/tribute for Bellatrix is something I explored among the first chapters of my AU story, The Dark Phoenix; although the circumstances were considerably different.
truly fantastic writing and storytelling. i was captivated all the way through. when's the next chapter coming out? i can't wait. well done
Author's Response: Thanks for the encouraging words; that was one of my favorite chapters. I have the next one almost ready, a few tweaks away from submission. Definitely this week though.
His eyes strained against the gloom as Dumbledore’s face seemed to purse its lips sadly in the collector card Ron left behind. Or had that been a figment of his overwrought imagination as well?
Oh, wow, it seems like DD is going to make another chocolate frog card appearance.
Author's Response: Make no mistake, Dumbledore’s in it for the long haul… but complications are always bound to arise . More to come!
Will Dumbledore speak again from the cards? How will they feel knowing he can be around everywhere?
Author's Response: I can tell you this much: Dumbledore will think long and hard before he interferes. Like many others, he recognizes that he needs to let go of the past and move on. Harry himself will see the similarity to the portraits that hang in the Headmaster's/Headmistress's office.
What a wonderful chapter!! I simply love how you portrayed the relationship between Ginny and Harry, especially Ginny's strength and "irreverence" (as you put it). Some tend to depict her as the tender lover right there by Harry's side throughout, comforting him with hugs and kisses; you didn't, though, and I think that's really spot-on! I find that what Ginny provides for Harry is more than just physical affection; her wit and lightheartedness (well, as light as the situation can get) serves as a distraction for Harry, allowing him to engage in normal chatter befitting of someone his age.
Author's Response: So happy you liked my characterization of Ginny. It’s unfortunate that the script writers have relegated Ginny’s character to the back burner in the films so that she comes across as nothing but a two-dimensional love interest. The books give the impression that she’s very like her mother: nurturing, determined, and a bit of a fire brand. This makes her such an ideal foil for Harry who is known to have a temper of his own. I see her as having a more modern outlook on childbearing and women's roles, though. More of Ginny and Harry to come in next chapter.
Beautiful chapter. And great eye for detail in having Victoria Station for the souls, since Kings Cross was where they met. I wonder what Mad Eye is up to.
Author's Response: So happy you liked this chapter. I was so afraid people would find it too sad, even though we already know most of what happened. With the next chapter, we go into unchartered waters …(gulp)
Author's Response: Thanks from the bottom of my heart! Am submitting the next installment today, hope you’ll keep reading.
This is a great story. You indeed found a nice gap in canon that allows for this very creative set of vignettes. And oh, this idea of the people in the chocolate frog cards to be actual real passageways they can use for communication once they died, marvellous. It fits very well with the Hogwarts headmasters' portraits canon
Author's Response: So glad you're liking the story so far. I consider myself extremely lucky that the gapping hole wasn't spotted by an obsessive reader before I could put it to good use. I felt certain until the very end of DH that JKR was going to have Moody pull 'a Gandalf'', if you know what I mean. More amusing coincidences to come...
I very much enjoyed the chapter. You certainly have Alastor's charcter down pat. Before I read your end note, I was going to mention that the Dumbldore card is being used by another author at this site. I think it's effective. Though by the sound of their conversation I don't think MadEye will have it in his pocket. I might be wrong. I would dearly love for Alastor to find the Trio. I think he'd be a lot of help. I can't wait for the next update.
Author's Response: So pleased you liked my characterization of Mad-Eye. He is such an irascible teddy bear to may way of thinking. Your desire for him to catch up with the trio will certainly come to pass, forgive the minor spoiler. However, since he no longer has his magical eye nor the Deluminator left to Ron by Dumbledore, he will have to wait until they are no longer hidden by the charms that Hermione casts each night.
It does not surprise me that someone else is using the chocolate frog idea as it was posted to a public site. Am torn between wanting to know which other story is employing this technique and not wanting to be influenced by someone else. Not surprisingly, an idea I joked about during a review with another reader was picked up by someone else and used in a Mugglenet story. No big deal, it was not one that I was going to use myself; those I keep a very tight lid on.
Hopefully, will be able to update next week. Am currently having computer problems when I do anything more complex that just responding to reviews.
"Uncle Madai," eh? Excellent! :-)
Nice dialogue between Moody & Dumbledore('s "portrait").
Very well done.
Author's Response: Glad you like Uncle Madai. The idea of whether he was arguing with himself or a true manifestation of a dead wizard just seemed like such a great starting point. That Moody was impersonated by a deranged manic for the better part of a year and no one remarked that he was acting out of character gives you a true measure of his unorthodox ways.
Dumbledore will find that other characters pose different challenges when I update next week. Hope to have computer problems resolved by then. Donr17;t despair.
This was really great. Oh the possibilities with your writing talent and MadEye as your central character. I look forward to the update. Hurry Please!
Author's Response: So glad you found this story! I must confess that Moody may have been the inspiration for this story, but there are other pivotal characters as well. Hope you are not too disappointed as you read further. The character who is truly central to just about everything is a bit of a surprise r11; so I will leave you to discover it on your own. Am submitting next chapter tomorrow.
OMG! I'm suppose to be getting kids off to school and this pops up in my email and I just had to read it!! Moody's alive and Snape's there and wow! I was so hoping you'd tell Moody's back story after having him appear in Dark Pheonix! Love this! Can't wait for more!
Author's Response: See, that was a quick turnaround. I agree, having Snape in the opening chapter always adds extra value.
Probably will not go back and trace things from childhood for Moody, otherwise this story will become epic in scope. Moody is old enough that the only other possible classmate from Hogwarts is Umbridge and that tale was done by someone else already. Truthfully, I did not want the burden of adding in a lot of original characters. There is always a good possibility of flashbacks to earlier events to include some backstory, though.
Once the significance of the title becomes clear in the next few chapters, you will see that the tale opens up to shift among various other characters instead. We also visit some exotic settings that are only hinted at in canon. Not that a diabolical twist can be ruled out r11; so if you think of something, by all means speak up.
[Sorry I didn't review "The Dark Phoenix" -- didn't start it until it was nearly done. This tale looks to be a worthy successor (of sorts).]
Author's Response: Thanks for the compliments. Glad that you enjoyed the previous story and have now discovered this one. Am submitting next chapter tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed.
I love this story! Your writing is so beautiful, it is a joy to read. I am waiting anxiously to read the rest of this story, so please update! This is a beautifully written story!! keep it up! --FawkesToTheRescue--
Author's Response: Thanks for the glowing endorsement. (blushes) I have the next chapter ready to be submitted to the queue. Hopefully, the next update will be relatively soon. I try to stay ahead of the curve with my writing so that readers are not left with a huge wait between chapters. Hope you will keep reading!